Civic News & Info
Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action Saturday, August 11, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Erin Wilson   
Monday, 13 August 2012 13:04

SPRINGFIELD –August 11, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bill:

 

Bill No.: SB 3800

An Act Concerning: Education

Allows Illinois Student Assistance Commission to administer wage garnishments on any employee in order to recover student loan debt owned or serviced by the Commission. Also allows for the employee having their wages deducted to have the opportunity to contest the loan obligation.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

 

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Governor Quinn Marches in Bud Billiken Parade, Continues Push for Pension Reform PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Nafia Khan   
Monday, 13 August 2012 12:45

CHICAGO – August 11, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today marched in the annual Bud Billiken parade and continued his push for public pension reform. Walking alongside hundreds of youth and students, the governor called for a school system and pension system that are built to last for future generations.

The Governor has summoned the General Assembly to a Special Session on Friday, August 17, to focus on pension reform.

“As I march up Doctor Martin Luther King Drive and see all these bright, smiling faces, the importance of bold action on pension reform is crystal clear,” Governor Quinn said. "Education is being squeezed out by fast-rising pension costs. We owe it to our kids marching here today and across Illinois to reform our pension system, so they have the education they deserve.”

Last week, Governor Quinn’s Office of Management & Budget released a study showing that without comprehensive pension reform, Illinois will spend more on pensions than education by FY 2016. The State’s 2013 budget is $33.7 billion, with 15 percent going to pensions alone. Each day, Illinois' unfunded pension liability grows by $12.6 million. The Governor has proposed a pension reform plan – which is expected to save taxpayers $65 to $85 billion – that eliminates the unfunded liability over the next 30 years and stabilizes the system.

For legislators’ contact information and details on Governor Quinn’s pension reform plan, visit SaveOurState.illinois.gov.

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Governor Quinn Signs Law to Stiffen Penalties for Sale of Heroin, Flavored Wrapping Paper PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Nafia Khan   
Friday, 10 August 2012 08:27

CHICAGO – August 9, 2012. As part of his commitment to improve public health, Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law to stiffen penalties for the sale of heroin and flavored wrapping paper. The new law lowers the threshold for mandatory imprisonment for the sale of heroin from five grams to three grams, and bans flavored wrapping paper which is often marketed to young people. This issue has been considered by the General Assembly for several years, and a similar proposal was introduced by then-State Sen. Barack Obama.

“One overdose victim is one too many in Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “These products are a public health menace and this new law will help keep people away from illegal substance abuse.”

Sponsored by Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-Addison) and Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), House Bill 3801 is supported by the Illinois Attorney General, Cook County State’s Attorney and Illinois State’s Attorneys Association. Recent studies have shown a dramatic increase in heroin overdoses throughout Illinois, based on hospital admissions, treatment center statistics and arrest records. Roosevelt University’s Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy found in 2011 that heroin usage in the collar counties has increased 200 percent in 10 years.

“This is a scourge afflicting communities across the state of Illinois,” Sen. Raoul said. “I am pleased that we are giving law enforcement two additional tools to combat drug use.”

The new law also bans the sale of non-menthol flavored wrapping paper, also known as blunt wraps. These cigar wrappers are commonly used to roll illicit drugs such as marijuana, PCP and crack cocaine. With flavors such as chocolate chip and banana, the product is marketed by tobacco companies and other manufacturers to young people and children.

“I have seen first-hand the toll heroin takes on young people here in the suburbs,” said Rep. Reboletti, a former narcotics prosecutor who serves on the advisory board of Serenity House, a halfway house in Addison. “We are putting dealers of even small quantities on notice: you will go to prison.”

The new law takes effective immediately.

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Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action Thursday, August 9, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Nafia Khan   
Friday, 10 August 2012 07:53

CHICAGO – August 9, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn took action on the following bills:

 

Bill No: SB 3287

An Act Concerning: Government

Creates the Illinois Service Member Civil Relief Act to protect the financial security of Illinois soldiers.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Jan. 1

 

Bill No: SB 3555

An Act Concerning: Transportation

Allows Professional Sports Team License Plates to be issued to motorcycles.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Jan. 1

 

 

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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding to Improve Rural Electric Service to Thousands of Customers in 18 States PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Friday, 10 August 2012 07:52
Almost $29 million in Smart Grid Projects Included

WASHINGTON, August 9, 2012 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that rural electric utilities in 18 states will receive loan guarantees to make improvements to electric lines, transmission facilities and to reduce peak electric loads by deploying smart grid technologies. USDA Rural Utilities Administrator Jonathan Adelstein made the announcement on Vilsack's behalf while visiting the offices of one of the recipients, Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) in Crewe, Virginia. The cooperative is using funds to build and improve a distribution line, transmission line, and will invest almost $7.4 million for smart grid system enhancements. In all, service will be upgraded for about 1,500 SEC members.

"Maintaining and upgrading rural electric systems improves system reliability, creates jobs and supports economic development," Vilsack said. "With these loans, we are continuing to help cooperatives provide reliable service to rural residents. A significant portion of this funding will go to smart grid technologies, helping consumers lower their electric bills and reducing peak demand for producers."

With this funding, USDA Rural Development moves closer to reaching Secretary Vilsack's goal to fund more than $250 million for smart grid technologies. Today's announcement includes support for nearly $29 million in smart grid projects. In all, USDA is investing more than $420 million in rural electric infrastructure.

The following is a list of rural utilities that will receive USDA funding, which is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement.

Idaho/Oregon/Washington

  • Clearwater Power Company -- $13,524,000. Funds will vey used to serve about 500 consumers, build and improve 132 miles of distribution line and 5 miles of transmission line, and make other system improvements.

Indiana

  • Whitewater Valley Rural Electric Membership Corporation – $12,000,000. Funds will be used to serve 240 consumers, build and improve 121 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan includes $519,405 in smart grid projects.

Kansas

  • Leavenworth-Jefferson Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $7,580,000. Funds will be used to serve 375 consumers, build and improve 100 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $104,028 in smart grid projects.

Kentucky

  • Pennyrile Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation – $22,894,000. Funds will be used to serve about 2,800 customers, build and improve 248 miles of distribution and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $232,800 in smart grid projects.
  • Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation – $13,000,000. Funds will be used to serve about 3,300 consumers, build and improve 216 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements.

Minnesota

  • Lake Region Electric Cooperative – $27,151,000. Funds will be used to serve about 1,300 consumers, build and improve 151 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $3,297,855 in smart grid projects.

Mississippi

  • Coast Electric Power Association – $51,766,000. Funds will be used to serve 9,240 consumers, build and improve 246 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $128,000 in smart grid projects.

North Carolina

  • Central Electric Membership Corporation – $22,000,000. Funds will be used to serve about 2,800 consumers, build and improve 102 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $278,800 in smart grid projects.

New York

  • Steuben Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $9,362,000. Funds will be used to serve 318 consumers, build and improve 121 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $706,050 in smart grid projects.

Oklahoma

  • Northwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $18,306,000. Funds will be used to serve 912 customers, build and improve 134 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $843,400 in smart grid projects.

South Carolina

  • Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. – $44,347,000. Funds will be used to build 77 miles of new transmission line.

South Dakota/Minnesota

  • East River Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. – $62,207,000. Funds will be used to build 44 miles of transmission line, three new substations, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $3,951,000 in smart grid projects.

South Dakota/Iowa/Minnesota

  • Sioux Valley – Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc – $39,098,000. Funds will be used to serve over 1,400 consumers, build and improve 618 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $3,585,806 in smart grid projects.

South Dakota/Montana/North Dakota

  • Grand Electric Cooperative, Inc. –$14,164,000. Funds will be used to serve 153 consumers, build and improve 185 miles of distribution line and 1 mile of transmission line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $1,480,903 in smart grid projects.

Texas

  • Comanche County Electric Cooperative Association – $18,469,000. Funds will be used to serve 1,068 customers, build and improve 143 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $6,551,790 in smart grid projects.

Virginia

  • Southside Electric Cooperative – $44,881,000. Funds will be used to serve 1,460 customers, build and improve over 700 miles of distribution line and 9 miles of transmission line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $7,352,881 in smart grid projects.

Funding is provided by USDA Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service (RUS). The loans help electric utilities upgrade, expand, maintain and replace rural America's electric infrastructure. USDA Rural Development also supports energy conservation and renewable energy projects.

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy and strengthening small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).


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